Give something up, surrender, as in They laid down their arms. [c. 1300]
Formulate, specify, as in The club laid down new membership rules. [Late 1400s]
Also, lay down one's life. Sacrifice one's life, as in He would willingly lay down his life for his children. [c. 1600]
Store for the future, as in It was a great vintage year for burgundy, and Mark laid down several cases. [Early 1800s] Also see lay aside, def. 2.